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It'sa me, Kaizo Mario!

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
There's something about playing a flashy, challenging level like that that really makes you feel like you've made it as a kaizo player. Thinking back to the first time I saw GPW2 played, this is exactly the kind of stage that I would have thought I'd never be able to master. It's pretty nice to have proven myself wrong!
I agree really hard with all of this. Big congrats on your clear, that's a huge step forward.

I wish I could remember the trick to making the climb in the second half consistent, I know I eventually figured out a way but whatever it was is lost to me now.

Are you gonna stream tonight? I'd love to hang out while you make those Eyrie attempts.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
I wish I could remember the trick to making the climb in the second half consistent, I know I eventually figured out a way but whatever it was is lost to me now.
I think it's just a question of hitting the speed sweet-spot...and of absolutely not triggering the screen scroll to the left. By the time I finished I had gone from getting it in 1/100 attempts to getting it 1/10, and there was definitely a rhythm that clicked into place on the successful attempts. Really glad I managed to get the door on my first try, I probably only made it to the top of the climb like 6 times total. I can't imagine the work it takes for people who speedrun this game to get that section down so that it works every time!

Are you gonna stream tonight? I'd love to hang out while you make those Eyrie attempts.
That's the plan! Won't actually know if it's happening until the kid is in bed, though.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Whooaaaaa, we're halfway there! After a very long grind (4h15m), I finally finished the first section of the Eyrie yesterday, and then blew through the second in about 30 minutes. By my reckoning, there's one hard part and two easy ones left to go, but I think I might actually be more than half finished with the level, time-wise. The first section was ruthless, but I eventually came to see it as a very harsh, single-minded training course. Every part of that second room screams YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO CONTROL YOUR SPEED WHILE FLYING. And I did! I wasn't able to consistently get the "god speed" that lets you drift forward at a constant rate, so instead I just got way better at speeding up and slowing down as needed. And I think all that practice is going to pay off: I spent about 45 minutes in the third section (fourth room) last night and it went pretty well, IMO. I made it to the wall-run about 4 times and I even got as far as the thwomps on my best attempt. Dodging the double-saw and hitting the ON/OFF switch is tricky, but my flight control has improved so much since I started this level that it's honestly not that bad. I know the ending of this section is pretty nasty, but I'm nonetheless hopeful that I'll end up spending less time here than on the first section. I'll be taking a day or two off kaizo, if nothing else to catch up on my sleep, but I hope to see the end of this level on Saturday or Sunday.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Hey, that's a big accomplishment! Way to go. One more cape challenge remains (because the two final rooms are basically free). I sincerely wish you a quicker clear on room 4 than I had, because I was not a happy man while I was in there.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Was there one particular roadblock for you in that section, or was the hard part putting everything together? I know I still have to climb the nets and do that nasty p-switch throw, but the parts I’ve played so far have come together relatively quickly. Anyway, with all the time I spent on the first chunk of the level, I’m hopeful that the learning will carry over to make the rest go a little quicker.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Getting to a point where I could consistently make it past the saws after hitting the on/off switch took a long time, but after that it was still a matter of putting it all together. I also fucked up the P-switch twice before finally getting in the door. There is a relatively easy/safe way to do the P-switch, but I'm gonna let you tell me when/if you want to hear it.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
And done! Happily, I didn't get super hung up on the 3rd section - it wound up taking me another 45 minutes to complete (so 90 in all). Then I finished the last two chunks in about another 45 minutes, although that time is pretty approximate, because I was simultaneously coaching Anthony as he took his first baby steps in L2K. My total time for the Eyrie was about 7 hours, which means this level doesn't unseat Absolute Power as the worst grind I've ever done. That first section sure was a doozy, though. Onward, to Idle Hands!
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Tried my best, but I didn't quite make it to Big B last night. I cleared the dolphin section of the castle and then wound up once again picking the Runner's Choice: thwomp room. That went relatively well, and I got to the final section at around midnight. But between the difficult first trick and the jump off the rebound shell that still don't really understand, I wound up packing it in not long after that. It's just as well I did, because my kid woke up early this morning and I didn't get much/good sleep. For the record, I'm at around 62.5 hours total so far, so there's still a chance for a *nice* finish (but I wouldn't count on it).
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Man, you're so close to the end! Don't forget that you can practice the falling shell midair in Learn 2 Kaizo if you want to. I also have a method of doing that trick that feels pretty foolproof, but writing it down makes it sound more complicated than it is. I'll leave it in a spoiler here in case you want to check it later:

Hold Y+B the entire time, and Right on the D-pad for most of it. The trick here is to work from audio cues rather than visual. There'll be a sound when you bump the shell, and another one when you bounce off of it (think of what it sounds like when you do a shell bump off a 1f0 if you're having trouble picturing it). What you want to do is time your release and repress of Right on the D-pad to these sounds - let go of Right when you bump the shell, and press it again as you bounce off it. Another way to think about it is almost like you're triggering the first sound when you let go of Right, and triggering the second when you press it again. And just to repeat, you're holding Y+B the entire time. It's a lot more intuitive than it sounds, I promise! I don't think I've ever missed this trick doing it that way.

Meanwhile, I'm slightly more than halfway through Boogie Wonderland (11 exits, I think?) and still having a good time. The difficulty and section length have both started to increase, and I've noticed that some sections are not as readable as the earlier ones. I got really hung up at the beginning of Rex Marsh because I couldn't see how I was supposed to do the first couple of jumps. I also had some trouble with the falling section where you have to deal with horizontal screen wrap and wall jumps at the same time because it was so hard to see what was coming next. But now I'm at the disco shell switch palace, which I'm weirdly looking forward to? Disco shells were always tough for me, so whenever I successfully accomplish Disco Shell Activity I really feel like I've finally learned to play kaizo. It just feels good to know I've actually learned a skill.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Once you're airborne with p-speed, can't you just let go of right completely? I thought Mario's horizontal velocity didn't change as long as you were in the air. I'm also fairly sure that's how I did in in the final level in L2K. Anyway, I haven't made it that far yet, as I still haven't deciphered the shell that you kick backwards onto triangle block right near the beginning.

But yeah, really close to the end! Honestly, since I finished the Eyrie, the rest of the game has felt like a bit of a victory lap. I'll probably change my tune after a few hours of Bowser, but the one-two of Undying and Eyrie was so monumental that it kind of feels like the hack has already peaked. Could realistically be done with this in another couple of days, it boggles the mind!

Also, when you say Disco Shell Switch Palace, my mind always goes back to Sweet'n'Sour (shudder). But I guess that's not fair, since Purgatory had a pretty sweet DSSP.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Oh, I misunderstood which jump you were talking about. I have no idea if you'll maintain midair speed if you let go of right, honestly. That's not a spot where I feel like it's a good time to experiment!
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Well, I came back today and managed to get that section in 15 minutes, although I doubt that would have been the case at midnight last night. It's actually a pretty fun section! And yeah, for the midair shell jumps, you can let go of right as soon as you leave the ground, then just hold Y and B and pray.

Now I'm camped outside of Bowser's door, but I'm trying to decide if I want to wait until I'm streaming before taking my first step in. Definitely not happening today, at any rate.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
And yeah, for the midair shell jumps, you can let go of right as soon as you leave the ground, then just hold Y and B and pray.
Huh, good to know. I'll have to load up L2K just to mess around with that a bit.

You've made it so far, the end is in sight! I definitely want to be around to cheer you on during the fight, but if you're excited to go for it sooner I think we'd all understand.

13 exits down in Boogie Wonderland. The disco shell palace ended up being really tough -- at least, the first half was. Took me at least an hour, if not more. I think it was also just a little too long, with one frustrating setup towards the end that I had to watch Orka do first. But the second half was so much easier in comparison, got through it in maybe 10-15 minutes and just barely avoided getting trolled by the skin of my teeth right at the switch.

The main exit of the wall jump level itself ended up being pretty fun and breezy. It was three sections, but they were all pretty short. I waltzed through the first one in 5 minutes, the second in 10, and the third in 15. The third section could've used some extra indicators in a couple of spots, but it wasn't too bad in the end. I'll take more levels like that any day!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Holy shit dude. I saw Mike's comment about the midair first and was like "Okay, maybe there's a spring midair" but nope, that's really straight up required midair at high speed. We're not worthy!
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Holy shit dude. I saw Mike's comment about the midair first and was like "Okay, maybe there's a spring midair" but nope, that's really straight up required midair at high speed. We're not worthy!
Let me be very clear about this. The fact that it is high speed makes the midair 1000X easier. I did like over 10 in rapid succession in my attempts. Looks cool, but it’s easier than it appears.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
Yeah, but emphasis on "looks cool" :cool:

I might start the Bowser grind tonight, depending on how things go tonight with the kid. Pretty excited!
 

SilentSnake

Administrator
(He/him)
Staff member
Moderator
Speaking of cool, here's me doing that slope jump into goomba jump.

 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
Made it to the final castle in Boogie Wonderland, but I really had to fight to get there. The level before it is super long -- four sections! -- and at least half of it involves some pretty tricky cape maneuvering. The other half involves those ice vines that appeared in a KLDC level (and nowhere else that I've seen so far). I cleared it in two sittings, with dinner in between, but it took at least 3 hours. I haven't spent that much time on a level since...probably something in Mostly Harmless.

With a little luck, I can wrap this one up tomorrow. It's a good thing, too, because I haven't really enjoyed the back half of this game as much as the front. I'll get more into the why of this after I've finished it and collected my thoughts on the whole thing.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
And Boogie Wonderland is done! Ludwig took just shy of two hours (1:55 to be exact), and then the escape took another 5 minutes. Very intense boss fight! It's no GPW2 Bowser, but few things are.

Overall I'd say I really liked about half of this hack, and the rest I just kinda pushed through. There's a massive spike in both difficulty and level length about halfway through, which I would've liked to have been more gradual. You get comfortable in the first half, and then it gets a lot more grindy. Outside of the final two levels, I don't think I spent more than an hour anywhere, but in the first half of the hack I was clearing sections in 5-10 minutes. Later on it got closer to 30-45 minutes at times, or longer in the cape level I mentioned in my previous post.

You can really tell that Baba was trying to make GPW Junior with this hack. That's not a bad thing, but the influence is definitely there. Many levels feel like riffs on ones from either GPW game. Some jumps are very, very tight, and many of them could've benefited from an extra indicator -- especially in the second half of the game, there are a lot of blind jumps and obstacles you can't really clear without dying to them once. None of this makes a hack bad, but I found myself getting a little tired of it by the end. It's unfortunate, because I really did like the first half, and there are a lot of cool sections in the second half too. There's just maybe too much of everything? A bunch of levels have more than two sections, which almost always feels a little excessive to me. Granted, all of those sections are exploring a unique idea, but it just gets to be a lot after a while.

I feel like I'm sounding like I'm down on the hack, which I'm not -- ultimately I think a lot of it was pretty great, but there's just a lot of it. It kinda feels like Baba wanted to come out of the gate and really establish himself as a creator from the get-go, showing all his ideas (granted, I don't know how much changed in the 2.0 update). And he's got a ton of them! Even through the very long final castle, there were a bunch of fun rooms. I think at the end of the day what I wanted was either more consistency in the difficulty/level length, or a more gradual ramp in the progression. It's a very good hack! Just shy of being a great hack, for me.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
You know what Baba Yegha hack doesn't feel like it's aping GPW2, with the exception of the one level that clearly is?

Waterworld
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
After declaring his retirement, Lush_50 is back with a new hack called Groovy! It's not even single screens anymore, he's made 10-ish full sections. I played it today, it's...fine. There's a lot of Nightmare Cafe tech in it, which shouldn't surprise anyone who knows how Lush likes to recycle things. Sections are short, a lot of them kinda feel like stretched out Nightmare Cafe segments. The hack's not breaking any new ground, but it's a decent snack-sized challenge. I cleared it in about 2.5 hours, give or take.

I also saw that Luminescent has gotten a 1.02 update, which motivated me to give it another shot. After updating to the latest version, I went in and cleared that block snake section in 5 minutes flat. Maybe this time I'll go the distance!
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
After declaring his retirement, Lush_50 is back with a new hack called Groovy! It's not even single screens anymore, he's made 10-ish full sections. I played it today, it's...fine. There's a lot of Nightmare Cafe tech in it, which shouldn't surprise anyone who knows how Lush likes to recycle things. Sections are short, a lot of them kinda feel like stretched out Nightmare Cafe segments. The hack's not breaking any new ground, but it's a decent snack-sized challenge. I cleared it in about 2.5 hours, give or take.

I also saw that Luminescent has gotten a 1.02 update, which motivated me to give it another shot. After updating to the latest version, I went in and cleared that block snake section in 5 minutes flat. Maybe this time I'll go the distance!
Lush's stuff can be hit and miss, but I'd be willing to try Groovy at some point. I fired up Heavenly Host at one point, but I got stuck on like the 2nd room and never continued it. I should go back at some point...

Behold my final push in RNG skytree.

Yoooo check that gameplay!
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
That's truly some inspired skytree action. I know you put in a ton of hours to get there, but you made it look easy.
 

lincolnic

can stop, will stop
(he/him)
So, I mentioned in my last post that I was picking up Luminescent again, and I'm glad I did. I cleared four exits today in about two hours, and mostly had a good time in the process! (That one room -- Snake knows which one -- didn't take more than a few minutes, but I did not enjoy those few minutes.) With eight exits done I'm now halfway through the hack and, I believe, past all of the sections/ASM that I was really dreading. I'm excited to keep going! The only thing coming up that I'm not really looking forward to is the cape level, but at least I'll be mentally prepared for a bit of a grind there.

I've also decided to just go for Any%, since I've seen what happens when you get 100% of the coins and I'm not super interested in playing a tighter version of the final level. I think it'll be a fun ride through the rest of the hack, though.
 

MCBanjoMike

Infamous third lava dolphin
(He/him)
And so it's finished! I'm super happy that you guys were there when I finally closed the book on Bowser, that was such a satisfying way to go out. Grand Poo World 2 sure was a trip: from early despair to eventual acceptance in the mid-game to outright enjoyment at the end, capped off with the most epic boss fight I've ever played. I still think that many of the sections are too long and more punishing than fun, but there are definitely parts that I also enjoyed a lot. The end-game, in particular, is really incredible. House of the Undying, The Eyrie, the puzzle and the Bowser fight are all truly amazing achievements, even if I didn't get to tackle one of those myself. And the wealth of secrets and inventive trolls was only spoiled by the fact that I had seen them all play out a dozen times before being subjected to them myself. I definitely would have enjoyed the game more if I had been unspoiled, or if I had waited longer to start playing it. But in the end, it's still a truly epic journey, and one that I'm very proud to have completed. I wouldn't say I'm as emotional about it as I was with Invictus, but in some ways I'm even prouder to have overcome my early mental block and managed to take on and even enjoy most of the game. Now I can finally join the ranks of those asking: GPW3 when?

Because I know at least lincoln care about stats as much as I do, here's a breakdown of the hack by the numbers:
TOTAL TIME: 75 hours (sadly, just shy of my goal of 69:420)
LONGEST LEVELS: Bowser (12h), The Eyrie (7h), Deuce Lair (6h), House of the Undying (5h10), Riptide Slide (5h), Mirkwood (4h)
FAVES: Bowser, The Eyrie, Deuce Lair 2nd half, Toasty Coals 2nd half, House of the Undying except for that one bit, Hanzo Castle
WORST LEVEL EVER: Riptide Slide, runner-up to Mirkwood
BEST MOMENTS: Laser Lifts platform, Bowser kill
BEST SONGS: Big Snowman (Laser Lifts), Geese Howard (Bowser), Izayoi (Hanzo), Wave 131 (Riptide Slide), MK Pit Theme (Sen's), Ocean Palace (Laughter House)
SPECIAL SHOUTOUTS: Arabic Coffee (Arrakis 2nd half), House of the Undying theme (yes it's good)
DID YOU KNOW THIS IS FROM CYBERNATOR: And it's a really good remix

Now that I'm a free man, I've decided to celebrate by signing up for tonight's ROMhack Race! No idea what I'll do after that, but it probably won't be kaizo for a few days.
 
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